125th Pacific Ball

29 October 2008

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Kia ora, Kia orana, Malo e lelei, Fakalofa Iahi atu, Talofa lava, Bula vinaka

Around 150 Pacific students, staff and alumni gathered at Sorrento in the Park last month to celebrate The University of Auckland's 125th Jubilee in fine style. The Pacific stylz ball was hosted by a newly formed sub-committee of the Pacific Alumni Group, whose members are Nuhisifa Seve-Williams (MA (Hons), BA, DipLabourStudies), Albert Vaka (BSc/LLB conjoint), Alovale Faaiuaso (MA (Hons), BA (Hons). BA), Deborah Faaiuaso (MA (Hons), BA) and Rachel Mancini (BA/BCom conjoint).

This sub-committee has a vision to see a thriving Pacific Alumni community, contributing to the social, cultural, and economic development of our communities in New Zealand and abroad. The sub-committee thanks the Alumni Relations Manager, Amanda Lyne, for all her support throughout.

One of the primary goals of the night was to celebrate Pacific success along with the University's 125th anniversary. Therefore the group was highly honoured to have Auckland born alumnus of Fijian Ancestry, His Excellency the Honourable Anand Satyanand (LLB/LLD), Governor General of New Zealand as guest speaker at the event.

The Pacific sub-committee also commissioned a short film by up-and-coming film maker, Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa (BA/LLB conjoint), which was shown at the dinner and offered a contemporary reflective representation on how far Pacific people have come and the important role that education and specifically The University of Auckland has played in that journey. Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Raewyn Dalziel represented The University of Auckland at this special event and referred in her speech to the first Pacific graduate Olive Virginia Malienafau Nelson who graduated in 1936 with a Bachelor of Law. Both the Vice-Chancellor's Office and Alumni Relations generously contributed a grant to enable the celebratory event to go ahead.

Other highlights from the night included a sumptuous buffet and entertainment featuring Grace Ikenasio, (currently completing a Bachelor of Performance Arts Degree), a Cook Islands cultural performance from Enuamanu Atiu-Nui, engaging MCs Terri Leo-Mauu (MA, BA (Hons)) and Jonothan Mariner (BA/LLB conjoint) as well as fia fia to DJ Shane Lambert (Quals TBC). Reverend Unasa's Elvis Presley dance moves were particularly appreciated by those present.

You can view a selection of photos from the Ball in our online gallery